The Numbers Game
1. Welcome to Week 2 everyone. What a week of sports we have leading up to Christmas day Sunday. The bowl season is upon us, football is on the final stretch before the postseason, and the NBA season is just a couple days away. Now I know this time of year family always comes first, and I whole-heartedly respect that. Just make sure you have your phone apps updated and synced up on your mobile device so that you can get the scores and updates quickly and without causing conflict with your significant other. This time of year we all have to be quick and nimble on our feet, just like Santa.
2. I went 10-6 in NFL picks last week. I’m sorry that I didn’t pick the Indy win over Tennessee and the Chiefs beating of the undefeated Packers. I’m usually great at calling monumental upsets like this that I just feel silly now. I think I just let ESPN get into my head. That’s the last time, Stuart Scott.
3. So far in the Bowl Pick Challenge with my Dad we are pretty even through the first couple games. With the narrow escape by TCU last night, we both picked up a valuable point and avoided the second loss in a game we both picked the same school. I guess his idea of picking the team with the prettiest colors is working for him so far. Just wait until we get to Oregon and Oklahoma State. Oh my.
4. I just watched a segment on the Mothership, (ESPN for those who didn’t know) discussing the 2012 NFL Draft, and offering up Todd McShay’s first Mock Draft. Now as a Lions fan, I understand that around October 1, I’m already gearing up for next year and usually am salivating at any new mock draft to give me visions of better days for my boys in Honolulu Blue. But since I’m one game away from the playoffs, I’m tuning out all Draft coverage and am now finding this whole December Mock Draft bologna utterly ridiculous. I’m probably a hypocrite for this, but maybe you just have to be a fan of a terrible team to really enjoy these mocks. But now that I see how the other side looks, I’ll just wait till the Combine to start enjoying and getting into Draft material.
5. The NBA season kicks off in 3 days and I can’t tell you from the media coverage that won the title last year, the Heat or the Lakers. No love for the Mavs on any national stage, but as soon as LeBron wants to have an interview with the cute ESPN reporter, or Kobe feels the need to eat a new Subway sandwich for lunch that day, the world needs it to be covered like Kim Kardashian’s theory of a wedding.
6. I am disappointed in the Mavs for not trying to stick together for at least one more year and take a run at one more title as a unit. I’m not saying this team isn’t a playoff team in 2012, and 66 games certainly helps, but playing back-to-back’s almost every week and at least one back-to-back-to-back in three different cities, it’s a strained 66 games. They will be a solid 5 or 6 seed in the conference and could win a playoff series depending on the matchup. I just don’t like their low post presence, but you always have a chance with Number 41.
7. Please don’t tell me the Clippers are winning a title. Not this year, at least. They will be the most fun team to watch this year. They will dominate the Top 10 on SportsCenter. But they will only be a 4 or 5 seed at best come postseason time, and will lose out to a team who can play a half-court game and slow them down, like a Spurs or Lakers squad. I love CP3 and Griffin together and I will try to watch them whenever I can, but I think you might need one year to work as a unit, similar to the Miami Heat of 2011, to finally hoist that trophy.
8. My Finals prediction: Miami Heat over the Oklahoma City Thunder in 7 games.
9. I think LeBron finally figures out a way to get locked-in this year, pushes away all the distractions and the media non-sense, (I’m looking at you, Skip Bayless,) and finally wins the title for Miami. The argument of “He has never done it before so why would he do it now,” is ridiculous and quite frankly without grounds. He has been disappointing in the two Finals appearances in his career, and rightfully deserved the criticism he received in the Finals against Dallas last year. Say what you want about the guy, but the man can play ball.
10. I’m proud of Matt Barkley returning to USC for his senior season. Andrew Luck did it this year at Stanford, and he now has a shot at two BCS wins. He may be throwing away a chance to be the second quaterback picked in April’s draft, only behind Luck, but he will arguably be the first selection next year and can only build himself and his game in college. It’s nice to see young men enjoy the college experience and want to continue to play college ball for as long as they can. Let’s just hope the injury bug avoids him next season so those dreams don’t become nightmares. Hello, insurance policy. Discount double-check time.
11. Am I the only one who still laughs at that State Farm Aaron Rodgers commercial? It is only because of the obnoxious fan in the end, and the look of the husband during his robot dance. By the way, I’m twelve years old at heart.
12. By the way, this works both ways just so everyone knows. I really would love some suggestions on topics, preferably sports, in which to discuss. But, please, limit your Tebow suggestions to just two or three.
13. Non-Sports Thought of the Week: It was season finale time for a lot of my shows this week, and like all good series do, they leave you in utter frustration at the thought of knowing you have to wait like six months to find out what happened. We finally have a loved one of Dexter’s that knows who he really is, the evil baby has risen up in American Horror Story, and the very attractive blonde is getting shock therapy in Homeland. Now I think I want to get going on that Breaking Bad train. I heard it’s a bumpy ride but a thrill all at the same time. Wish me luck people.
14. Now onto my Week 16 picks for the NFL season.
15. (Posted after the outcome of the game) I will be honest with everyone. I would have picked the Texans to win by three. In the historic match-up of T.J Yates and Dan Orlovsky, Dan-O had the advantage. I’m sorry Houston, but good luck winning in the postseason if you can’t finally sweep the Colts without Peyton Manning. I mean you had one year to finally do it, and who would have thought Dan Orlovsky would stand in your way. Very, very worrisome.
16. Can Reggie Bush run over the Pats D like he did in Buffalo last week? I think he keeps this one close, but Brady realizes what he is playing for, and can’t afford to ever be off. Pats win by the arm of Number 12.
17. The Jags players are counting down the days until they can hit the links in Cali. Locker/Hasselbeck over Gabbert, (who you cannot tell me looks like Sunshine from Remember the Titans.)
18. Key game in New York. I really think home-field advantage will play a factor. Can the Giants figure out a way to win on the road in New York? I say Manning has a better day than Sanchez.
19. The Bucs look completely lost. Raheem Morris is gone very soon. Josh Freeman came out firing on all cylinders in 2009, and now looks to be battling for Sanchez on who is the better bust from that first-round class. Meanwhile, the Panthers future has never been brighter with Cam. I love me some Cam on a Saturday
20. The Browns are still in the league? Baltimore can coast.
21. Arizona is holding out all hope for a playoff berth after a terrible start to the year. Could John Skelton be the answer for the Cards next year? Surely not after the big extension to Kolb, but one must wonder if the power of Red Skelton is enough for the birds. I like Red Skelton over Red Rocket.
22. The battle between the last two owners of McNabb is on. I remember these kinds of games as a Lions fan. Two teams with no playoff hopes battling only for pride. Who feels more prideful Saturday? I don’t know. I like maroon more than purple.
23. You are telling me Tebow couldn’t sell out Buffalo this week? One loss and the bandwagon is empty now, I see. Stealing a line from ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, “Tebow looks much better when he’s playing opposite Caleb Hanie than Tom Brady.” Very true. He will win on Saturday and keep this magical run going. Remember, I picked them for the Super Bowl last week so I can’t stop now!
24. Big Ben sits. Charlie Batch wins. The Rams still stink.
25. This is a tough one. I smell a little bit of a letdown after last week’s emotional upset of the Packers at home, but the Arrowhead crowd gets them going and wins in a low scoring affair
26. My game of the week. The Lions are one win away from a postseason berth. Honestly, I have stayed neutral all year with my picks and really try to keep my heart out of things when I talk anything sports on a public platform. But when I haven’t seen the playoffs as a fan since 1999, I have to let my heart take over this weekend. The Chargers are on a roll, like they always do during December, and they make this one a high-scoring affair. But that crowd will go banana’s for all 60 minutes and will make a difference in the game. I am going with my boys in Honolulu blue. Make me proud boys.
27. In the overall game of the week in the NFL, the Cowboys feel the footsteps of the Eagles and must be worried. The Eagles match up great with Dallas, and speed for speed, Philly holds their own. I don’t want to upset the home town crowd in only my second week…..so I won’t. Dallas wins a close one.
28. Seattle is going beast mode on fools all year long. I think that San Fran should win this game, but in Seattle and with the desperation the Hawks are playing with, they pull off the upset at home.
29. The Pack gets things rolling again. You can’t lose to Josh McCown at home and expect to hold Lombardi up.
30. I love this matchup on the finale of Monday Night Football. This has turned into quite the rivalry in the league, and pits two quarterbacks playing with extreme confidence. Brees will set the all-time passing mark on Monday night, and lead the Saints into a number two seed in the NFC playoff picture.
31. By the way, if you are into that Twitter game, follow me at @m_Bruu96. I just started a while ago and am still figuring out how I want to attack this thing. But I need some more followers. It’s how I know I’m worth something you guys.
32. I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas this year. I hope everyone gets to enjoy their family and friends and spend time with the ones they love the most. I know I will. Try and keep the sports to a minimal if you can. But if you must, take my advice, and prepare your game plan with updated sports apps. Or follow me on Twitter and I’ll tell you the score if you ask. Because I’m cool like that now.
33. I appreciate your time in the presentation on this festive evening. I’ll be back next week with another edition of The Numbers Game. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.